Research Reports - Effects of a rapid-resisted elliptical training program on motor, cognitive and neurobehavioral functioning in adults with chronic traumatic brain injury

Exp Brain Res. 2016 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Damiano DL(1), Zampieri C(2), Ge J(3), Acevedo A(4), Dsurney J(5).

This small clinical trial utilized a novel rehabilitation strategy,
rapid-resisted elliptical training, in an effort to increase motor, and thereby
cognitive, processing speed in ambulatory individuals with traumatic brain injury
(TBI). As an initial step, multimodal functional abilities were quantified and
compared in 12 ambulatory adults with and 12 without TBI. After the baseline
assessment, the group with TBI participated in an intensive 8-week daily exercise
program using an elliptical trainer and was reassessed after completion and at an
8-week follow-up. The focus of training was on achieving a fast movement speed,
and once the target was reached, resistance to motion was increased in small
increments to increase intensity of muscle activation. Primary outcomes were:
High-Level Mobility Assessment Tool (HiMAT), instrumented balance tests,
dual-task (DT) performance and neurobehavioral questionnaires. The group with TBI
had poorer movement excursion during balance tests and poorer dual-task (DT)
performance. After training, balance reaction times improved and were correlated
with gains in the HiMAT and DT. Sleep quality also improved and was correlated
with improved depression and learning. This study illustrates how brain injury
can affect multiple linked aspects of functioning and provides preliminary
evidence that intensive rapid-resisted training has specific positive effects on
dynamic balance and more generalized effects on sleep quality in TBI. 

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